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Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by pelo, Feb 27, 2004.
I use 100% Bed A Beast or other coconut fiber product
I use "JUNGLE MIX Lizard litter". Its a mix of bark chips, peat moss, chemical free soil, and vermiculite. I use it for all my babies. They just dig in and love it.
I love those bright yellow (chartreuse) mushrooms! Not that they taste good or are psychoactive, but I find them very attractive and interesting to watch grow.
Although many keepers feel that coconut coir (e.g., Eco Earth) promotes unwanted mold/fungus growth, I highly recommend it. However, even though I buy it wholesale it is still too expensive when you have as many tarantulas and other inverts as I do. Therefore, I tend to use 100% sphagnum peat moss for most inverts, although my personal collection (almost exclusively arboreals) is kept on a mix of coconut coir and coconut chips. (Many people think that substrate choice is insignificant with arboreals, but I find most of my adults cruise the bottom of the cage at least occasionally). I absolutely never use vermiculite. Not that it doesn't work well - because it does - but because it is so dadgum ugly and unnatural.
Re: Re: Substrate preference poll
The aromatic oil given off by cedar (and many other woods) is toxic to invertebrates. Why do you think cedar shavings are used in dog houses, beds, etc.? Because it kills, or at least deters, fleas! You may not have had a problem yet, but I strongly recommend that you cease using any type of cedar product.
100% "Hyponex" potting soil. All organic with no additives. Buy from Walgreens or such like. I have B smithi and G aureostriata.
Re: Re: Re: Substrate preference poll
**"Fresh" cedar shavings "may" (rather doubtful) pose a problem(never used) but I use "composted" cedar mulch.I haven't lost a spider or scorpion and I've been using it for a long time.They show absolutely no negative effects from it.I've mentioned this before...show some hard evidence,not just hear say, that it's harmful or kills spiders/inverts.I have proof it doesn't...all my spiders and scorpions...all 68 of them..from slings to adults and many different species...all healthy..growing and active "longterm".I will continue to use it ..peace..
I do about 60/40 peat/vermiculite and all the spiders seem to be happy!!
I voted for the one that I prefer to use although at present, it is not the one we are using. My choice is 50/50 soil/peat but we could not find any "clean" peat so we are using about 80% soil 20% vermiculite right now.
I don't think it is completely responsible to say you use cedar without qualifying that you make sure it is no longer toxic/aromatic. Simply saying you use fine cedar mulch in the mix could lead some to mistakenly believe use of cedar, any cedar, is OK. Let's try to avoid killing the Ts of well-intentioned newbies...eh! :}
I use peat moss now, but I've used potting soil before. Both worked fine.
Hi Elizabeth....try avoid killing of T's of well intentioned newbies..lol..Why don't you research/search posts for cedar topics before you jump to conclusions.The cedar topic has been hashed over and over again dealing with fresh and composted cedar.I've made clear in posts along with others that composted cedar mulch is no longer toxic and fine for use. >>CLICK HERE FOR EXAMPLE POST<< .If a newbie goes ahead and starts using cedar mulch because of my/one post here without doing anymore research.(going ahead and doing anything from one post/suggestion and not researching and coming to a safe conclusion for that matter)..well it's the newbie that's killing the T's,not me.I'm not going into detail about composted cedar mulch everytime I mention cedar mulch when it's already been done and can be found in the search option.I've also stated and used parenthesis around the words composted and fresh and made a brief statement about both.I don't think in no way was I being irresponsible.Not nice to make such quick accusations... ...peace..
There was no reason to adopt an antagonist tone in reply to Elizabeth. First, she used the phrase "I don't think it is completely responsible", not "irresponsible". I think it is perfectly reasonable to point out that it would be helpful to others if you spent the three seconds it would take to type "NOT cedar SHAVINGS" when mentioning a substrate component that is very uncommon/unusual to say the least instead of expecting people to search for other posts. Your long term use with a number of specimens certainly gives support to the belief that cedar in the form you use it is not harmful to your spiders, and I am happy to read that you have had success with it. However, cedar shavings do cause respiratory irritation and imflamation in small mammals as large as guinea pigs (I'd be happy to cite some references in the veterinary literature tomorrow when I have more time). They also are used in a number of ways as a deterrent to insects. Writing that it is "rather doubtful" that fresh cedar shavings would cause harm to spiders or other invertebrates is more "hearsay" (read: anecdotal) than anything in another post. I am fairly certain that no studies have been done on it (or would be!), and your success with a different form of cedar does nothing to suggest that a known toxic/irritant aromatic oil found in the cedar shavings commonly available in pet stores would not be harmful. A little clarity in writing would go farther to educate people about your interesting choice of substrate component than a defensive response to a reasonable post.
I should add that this is one of the better polls I have seen on this forum in quite some time. I am sure there are many keepers, both beginners and more advanced, who are learning a good deal from it and even after all these of years of keeping tarantulas I still love to hear how other people are having success and what unique methods some use. As long as the tone stays civil and instructive I am sure we can all learn something.
"Well aged/composted cedar mulch" not "cedar shavings or any other cedar/pine/fir product" as an "additive" (25%) to straight potting soil.Is that better?...lol..It read/reads to me that I was "irresponsibly" giving info that could kill T's of well intentioned newbies.(I don't know how you can derive anything else from it.)Something I would not intentionally do....and coming from someone brand new to the boards.Yea I got a little antagonistic/defensive (politely antagonistic/defensive ) and will probably do so again if the situation arises...peace..
I like peat/potting soil, however my T living in it doesn't. Has or does anyone use this ground corn cob bedding? The pet store I bought my a T used that exclusively. I tried switching my G. rosea to peat/potting soil (all chemical free) and he/she was not a happy arachnid. So Rosie is on groung corn cob and is back to eating again.
This is from the Tarantula Keeper's Guide by Schultz and Schultz addenda and errata page. http://www.acs.ucalgary.ca/~schultz/errata2.html
Corn cob bedding is a natural dessicant. That is, it absorbs moisture, but does not hold it. Even tarantulas from the driest deserts have an appreciably higher humidity level in their burrows than that of the surrounding air.
Pet shops use of this bedding for invertebrates is unfortunately commonplace, and is the result of a lack of knowledge and a lack of interest in pursuing it.
A Rose Hair is tolerant of low humidity, but still should not be kept on a substrate that not only sucks any humidity out of the air, but is also dusty. But what is really sad is when you see a Cobalt Blue or something similar on the crap. And don't even get me going on the pet stores that use corn cob for box turtles that like their feet in the mud!
I use about 50% potting soil and a 25/25% mix of vermiculite and peat moss added. Has worked for me for years.
Well, I wasn't being antagonistic. Is there such a thing as polite antagonism? I know what civil discourse is, though. As for being knew to these boards, what does that mean? Shouldn't express my opinions? I am sorry you read it the way you did, but I truly consider careful reading of posts to be each person's (here comes the word again!) responsibility!
I like this poll, too, or I wouldn't be here.
(Added after mulling it over: I think I can understand the "polite antagonism" to be a form of impassioned debate. As for any double standards about behavior, I believe that new and seasoned members alike should be held to the same standard, which is civil discourse and trying to read posts twice if they seem offensive. Offer up the benefit of the doubt, perhaps...)
As far as I know, and as much as the search feature tells me, this type of thread hasn't been done yet... There has been a bit of debate over the best substrate to use for Ts, so I decided I'd start a thread where people can post experiences they've had using different substrates (e.g. "I used potting soil, and it went moldy within a month, so I got, etc, etc...")
Personally, I use "Eco-Earth Coco-Peat", it's easy to clean, doesn't clump, and it's completely dehydrated, and doesn't harbor bacteria...
I used Potting Soil, or Peat Moss once, and it did indeed go moldy, and had to be replaced in a VERY short time...
I haven't yet tried "Bed-a-beast", but, I heard it's alright...
I use peat moss exclusively. I have not had any problems with it in many years. The only time I have encountered mold was in small vials where it was too moist to begin with. One of its benefits is that it is so inexpensive. So, even if I do get some mold, which I haven't really had problems with, it is no big deal to chuck the bad stuff and put in fresh peat.
I did try Bed-A-Beast once. It worked well, but it gets to be expensive.